Most of my regular readers will know of the sale of BMI Regional from IAG that Sector Aviation picked up.
Sector Aviation trading as BMI Regional has secured the BM IATA code (as opposed to the BD IATA code that British Midland were using), and more importantly – have announced more of their network.
From 28th October when BMI Regional stands on its own two feet they will operate in addition to the current network:
- Manchester to Antwerp
This brings BMI Regional’s network to 11 European Destinations, and 4 UK Domestic routes. The airline will be adding more routes in November, for a spring 2013 commencement. Whilst this isn’t that ambitious to what could be done (as a lot of planes are coming back off lease), it is a chance for the airline to find its feet whilst it reorganises itself.
The airline operates a fleet made up of 11 ERJ-145’s and 4 ERJ-135’s
The airline will be creating its own frequent flyer programme, and will embark on upgrading its on-board product. Crew will be in new uniforms too…. and we’ve all seen the new logo.
BMI Regional has suffered with the uncertainty with the Executive Chairman Ian Woodley saying:
“Interline traffic has fallen back and we lost quite a lot of connecting traffic which we need to rebuild, but it was still a sensible acquisition.”
With a good percentage of BMI Regional’s traffic coming from connecting flights, there is an impetuous to pull more traffic from these sources to create new codeshares and interline agreements.
BMI Regional is having to build up its own call centre, IT systems, contracts – the wors as the airline will be going it alone from 28th October with the services in the past were ran by its parent. The airline has also pulled in people made redunant from BMI Mainline, thus creating more employment opportunities.
And as for the BMI Brand? That’s an interesting question. BMI Regional has purchased the rights to the BMI brand, and could exericse it as soon as soon as 4th April 2013.
Ian Woodly says:
“The brand is hugely important. We acquired the whole [bmi] brand and as of April 4 we can restore it. We can become bmi—we have that option—but we haven’t taken the decision yet.“
Who knows? BMI might fly again. For now, BMI Regional is in its place, waiting for the 28th October when it can fly under its own power.